1. Home
  2. Ask the Expert
  3. Questions and Answers  
Main content

Question & Answer

What is Statin Therapy? | Ask the Expert
<a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=aa44406">Statins</a> are a class of medications used to lower cholesterol. They work by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which is important for cholesterol production in the liver. Statins are very commonly used to <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=zp3105abc">lower cholesterol</a> in patients who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. They also may have other beneficial effects, such as being anti-inflammatory, which are currently being studied. There are occasional side effects including muscle pains (myalgias) and rarely liver dysfunction, which should be closely monitored by you and your prescribing physician. There has been some evidence that statins can increase your risk for <a h ref="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=hw135189">diabetes</a>, but in most cases the benefits of preventing cardiovascular disease outweigh that risk. The amount of cholesterol lowering depends on the type and dose of statin prescribed.
Heart Health,

Question:

What is statin therapy and what are the side effects of this drug?

Answer:

Powell Jose, M.D.Powell Jose, M.D.Cardiovascular DiseaseSutter Medical Foundation
Expert
Powell Jose, M.D.Cardiovascular DiseaseSutter Medical Foundation

Dr. Jose's professional interests include cardiovascular disease prevention and noninvasive cardiovascular imaging.

Statins are a class of medications used to lower cholesterol. They work by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which is important for cholesterol production in the liver.

Statins are very commonly used to lower cholesterol in patients who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

They also may have other beneficial effects, such as being anti-inflammatory, which are currently being studied.

There are occasional side effects including muscle pains (myalgias) and rarely liver dysfunction, which should be closely monitored by you and your prescribing physician.

There has been some evidence that statins can increase your risk for diabetes, but in most cases the benefits of preventing cardiovascular disease outweigh that risk.

The amount of cholesterol lowering depends on the type and dose of statin prescribed.

Ask our experts your health question(s).